Strictly Come Dancing’s popular head judge Len Goodman is quitting the show after this year’s series.
Goodman, 72, has been with Strictly since it started on BBC1 in 2004 and suggested that his advancing years were a factor in his decision to leave.
He said: “In 2004, I was asked to take part in a brand new BBC Saturday night show and who would have thought me, old Len Goodman, would still be part of this amazing series more than 10 years on.
“This adventure began when I was 60 and now that I’ve reached my 70s, I’ve decided after this year it’s time to hand the role of Head Judge to someone else. It is an honour being part of the wonderful Strictly Come Dancing family and I’m looking forward to my last series very much and to whatever comes next.”
Goodman will participate in the 14th series of the show this autumn along with presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, and fellow regular judges Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood.
His departure will leave a hole in the show where he was renowned for his enthusiasm, imaginative wordplay and catchphrases such as “It’s a ten from Len”.
Charlotte Moore, Director of Content at BBC, said: “After 12 years, our wonderful Head Judge Len has decided it’s time to hang up his Strictly Come Dancing shoes! I know we are all going to miss him tremendously, but I also know Len’s final series is going to be full of unmissable moments and I hope audiences will give him the special send-off he so deserves.”
Louise Rainbow, Executive Producer of Strictly Come Dancing said: “We are absolutely delighted that Tess, Claudia and our judges are all returning for another year. Whilst we will be sad to say goodbye to Len, as our way of saying thank you, we are all determined to make this series the most spectacular, most glittery and entertaining yet.”